TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION• How to Start Eating Healthier• Meal Planning Made Simple• 10 Easy Ways to Lighten Up Any Recipe• Spices and Herbs (Condiments for your foods)
How to Start Eating HealthierSimple Ways to Eat Better Today-- by Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness WriterMost people are creatures of habit. We take comfort in knowing what we expect to eat — even if our meals aren’t that exciting. That’s what makes eating healthier so scary sometimes. So to eat a healthier diet means actually waking up and paying attention to whats on your plate.
Eat Better TodayMake healthy eating a habit:If you want to adopt healthy habits that will last, then the easiest way to do it is by making small, gradual changes. Don’t expect too much from yourself too soon—it takes about a month for any new action to become habit.Before you start making any changes to your diet, take a week or two to observe your current eating habits. Track everything that goes in your mouth, including drinks and treats. Keeping a food journal will really open your eyes. You might not realize how bad your present eating habits are until you see an unhealthy pattern right there in black and white. Once you see that some changes are in order, then youre ready to take the next steps.
How to Start Eating HealthierSimple Ways to Eat Better Today-- by Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness WriterSmall changes mean big rewards:1. Vegetables If increasing the number of vegetables you eat each day is one of your goals, start by finding a few different ones that you can painlessly work into your diet. Make sure you select a variety of colors (dark green, red, orange) to get the most nutrients per bite.2. Fruit If you know you need to eat more fruit, start by adding some sliced bananas to your cereal in the morning. Or, fresh berries and yogurt make a nice, light breakfast or snack too. As you adopt this new style of eating, you will find that your food preferences will gradually change— when you cut out high-sugar, high-fat goodies, your cravings will actually go away in time. Your body wants healthy food! One of the biggest challenges to eating healthier is finding substitutions for existing foods in your diet.Here are some tips to make the transition easier…
How to Start Eating Healthier -- making substitutions for existing foods in your dietUse mustard instead of mayo on your sandwiches. You’ll get lots of flavor with much fewer calories and fat.Select whole wheat bread over white bread.Eat the white meat of turkey or chicken, lower in fat than dark meat or red meat or pork.Start using lean ground beef, pork tenderloin or fish.
How to Start Eating Healthier (continued) -- making substitutions for existing foods in your dietChange cooking methods. Bake, grill or broil instead of frying. Use non-stick sprays (with canola oil).Slowly reduce the amount of soda you drink and replace it with herbal tea. DRINK PURIFIED WATER (8 cups).Eat a WHOLE orange instead of drinking a glass of juice. More fiber, more filling, less calories, more nutritious.
How to Start Eating Healthier (continued) -- making substitutions for existing foods in your dietPut sauces and dressings on the side. You will still have the flavor but with less calories.Switch to 2% or skim organic milk gradually.Switch from full-fat cheeses to reduced-fat or fat-free cheeses.
How to Start Eating Healthier (continued) -- making substitutions for existing foods in your dietOrder vegetables on the side instead of fries. Flavor them with lemon juice or herbs instead of butter.Snack on fruit and nuts. The fiber, protein and healthy fats sustains you to your next meal and you won’t have the energy slump like after eating candy.Reduce your portion size. Most people will eat whatever amount of food is in front of them, so put you’re your meals on smaller plates. You will be just as satisfied because your mind "sees" that you’re eating a full plate of food.
Meal Planning Staying organized, Made Simple saving money, and finding the time to cook healthful meals each night boils down to meal planning and a good shopping list.
Meal Planning Made Simple 4 Steps to Plan Meals and a Healthy Grocery List -- by Sarah Haan, Registered DietitianOrganizing your shopping list Step 1: can smooth out your grocery Keep a running list on the fridge shopping experience and make shopping and cooking Keep a list posted in your kitchen. more efficient. When you run out of something, jot it down. This will prevent youWhether you’re shopping for from starting a recipe only to one meal or seven, yourself or a discover that youre out of something you need. house full of people, the process is the same.The following steps will help you plan healthful meals, create an organized list, and save time and money.
Meal Planning Made Simple (continued) 4 Steps to Plan Meals and a Healthy Grocery List -- by Sarah Haan, Registered DietitianStep 2: Plan your meals Note:This step should always precede Some people prefer to look at shopping. Set aside at least once a coupons and sale flyers during the week to plan your meals. meal planning stage so they can create meals around lower-cost ingredients.Choose a variety of recipes. Others prefer to plan their meals and Some meals that are quick then look for coupons or deals on some that need more time, the items they need to make said meals. depending on your schedule. Decide which method works best for you. Just make sure what you buy can be worked into your meal plan and that youre not just buying something because its on sale.
Meal Planning Made Simple (continued) 4 Steps to Plan Meals and a Healthy Grocery List -- by Sarah Haan, Registered DietitianStep 3: Gather your recipes To streamline your planningThis will be much easier if you keep process, include a grocery your recipes organized. list on the recipe template so you can quickly see whatTry using a basic template for ingredients you need to all recipes (or enter them on make the dish. SparkRecipes.com).When you come across a great recipe, grab a blank template, jot it down, and place it in a Binder, organized by time, season, or cuisine.
Meal Planning Made Simple (continued)4 Steps to Plan Meals and a Healthy Grocery List-- by Sarah Haan, Registered DietitianStep 4: Create your master grocery list Saves you time, helps you navigate the store, you avoid walking back and forth, and it keeps your list organized.One section list the meals you planned for the week and other section, include the groceries you need, organized by department: produce, meats, frozen foods, dairy, beverages, herbs/spices. Download SparkPeoples Weekly Grocery Shopping List template for list-making made easy! …. Dont forget to attach your coupons to the list before you head to the store! Don’t get distracted by the supermarket promotions.
Meal Planning Made Simple (continued) 4 Steps to Plan Meals and a Healthy Grocery List -- by Sarah Haan, Registered DietitianKeep your pantry and refrigerator organized, storing similar items together. When every item has its place, cooking is more efficient.Group ingredients for each recipe together If a white bean chili is on the menu place all dry storage items (cans of beans, tomatoes, tomato paste) into a basket. You can pull out the basket and rock-n-roll in the kitchen.The time you spend in this planning phase will more than pay off when its time to cook, so make it a habit to start each week with a plan.
10 Easy Ways to Lighten Up Any Recipe Here are some tasty, healthy ideas to help you become a professional recipe overhauler…
10 Easy Ways to Lighten Up Any Recipe Boost Nutrition and Cut Calories in the Kitchen -- By Sarah Haan, Registered DietitianBefore you start chopping and mixing, scan the recipeto see if there are any unnecessary calories. (Look for excesscheese, butter and oils, as well as sugars).Choosing healthy foods is an important part of eating right,but cooking them in a healthful way is another huge part.What we add to foods makes all the difference when it comes to cooking.Get creative and experiment in the kitchen. You may just find that you likethese new ways of cooking just as much—or even better! There are endless ways you can boost the nutrition and reduce the calories of almost any recipe.
10 Easy Ways to Lighten Up Any Recipe (continued) -- a professional recipe overhaulerSauté—the skinny way! A couple of tablespoons of low sodium vegetable broth can be used instead of oil or butter in your stir fry or as the basis for a sauce. Adds a nice flavor to your dish as well as a little moisture—and youll save calories.Say no to skin. Three ounces of chicken breast meat with skin has almost 150 calories; three ounces of chicken without the skin has 50 fewer calories. Tasty as it might be, the skin contains mostly heart-unhealthy saturated fat.You can cook with the skin on to retain moisture(add fresh herbs or citrus zest underneath it to really bake insome flavor), but be sure to remove the skin before youenjoy your meal to save on calories and saturated fat.
10 Easy Ways to Lighten Up Any Recipe (continued) -- a professional recipe overhaulerSqueeze on the citrus. To add a powerful flavor punch with minimal added calories, use citrus on steamed veggies instead of butter or put citrus over a salad instead of a dressing.It’s even great on fruit salad and adds some zip when squeezed onto a pasta salad. Use the flavorful zest of citrus fruits as well! Wash a lemon, orange or lime, then use a zester or grater to add the zest to dishes such as baked seafood.
10 Easy Ways to Lighten Up Any Recipe (continued) -- a professional recipe overhaulerBe choosy about cheese. When you choose a cheese with intense flavor, you can use less and still get the desired effect.Try a reduced-sodium feta, sharp Cheddar or aged Parmesan next time. Light cheese wedges, such as, Laughing Cow brand, are useful when youre watching fat and calories, too. Try mixing one of these soft cheeses into your scrambled eggs or noodle dishes instead of loading on the shredded mozzarella.
10 Easy Ways to Lighten Up Any Recipe (continued) -- a professional recipe overhaulerGo Greek. Tangy, fat-free Greek yogurt is a healthful replacement for sour cream. Try this switch in dips or throw it in a cooked dish as a thickening agent. You’ll save 45 calories for each 2-tablespoon serving.Puree your produce. Add body to soups and sauces with pureed vegetables instead of heavy cream, evaporated milk, butter or cheese. This move will also add fiber and nutrients to your dish for very few calories.A puree of carrots will add texture to meatless spaghetti sauce, and mixing a blend of beans into a chili or soup will add flavor and thicken it — all with very few added calories.
10 Easy Ways to Lighten Up Any Recipe (continued) -- a professional recipe overhaulerGet cozy with cottage cheese. When a recipe calls for a significant amount of a crumbled cheese, such as feta or ricotta, substitute half the amount with reduced-fat cottage cheese to retain taste, texture, protein, and calcium while ditching some of the fat and calories. This works well for stuffed peppers and pasta dishes.Pump up the veggies! You can easily reach the recommended five servings of fruits and veggies when you’re cooking at home. Add chopped asparagus and mushrooms to your next omelet. Add red peppers, (or a frozen stir fry mix), to baked casseroles. Add any kind of beans to a pasta salad. Include fresh or frozen spinach in pasta sauces and soups, and broccoli in your casseroles.
Veggies can compliment any dish on your menu,adding nutrient-packed bulkto the meal for few calories. The opportunities for adding veggies are endless for almost any dish!
10 Easy Ways to Lighten Up Any Recipe (continued) -- a professional recipe overhaulerCut the cream. When making cream-based soups, substitute fat-free half- and-half for any heavy cream. The switch gives the soups a creamy taste and velvety texture without all the saturated fat of heavy cream. This works great in pasta sauces as well.Make your own marinade. Marinate lean meats in vinegarand citrus combos (with a bit of oil added) rather than apre-made oil-based dressing. Cut the meat in strips to let themarinade take effect. You can also try a fruit juice or wine.These agents will still tenderize and flavor the meat, and amix of herbs and spices will bring out the flavor!**Youll also save sodium by not using the store-bought varieties!
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE!ITEM SPICES TO USE Vegetables Basic, black/white pepper, garlic, onion, celery seed, mint, oregano, parsley, salt, sesame seed, thyme and lemon. Poultry Anise, black pepper, garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, celery seed, curry powder, marjoram, mustard, oregano, paprika, salt, thyme and savory. Black pepper, garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, curry powder, Beef fenugreek, horseradish, mustard, sage, salt and savory. Fish/Shellfish Bay leaf for shellfish boils, garlic, onion, capers, lemon, dill, horseradish, marjoram, mustard, parsley, saffron, rosemary, salt, tarragon and thyme. Cinnamon, marjoram, basil, thyme, garlic, onion, salt, black Pork pepper, fenugreek, mustard and cloves. Eggs Chervil, dill, paprika, salt, pepper, tarragon and thyme. Oatmeal Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt and natural flavors. Stews/Soup Bay leaf, celery seed, chervil, garlic, onion, cumin, marjoram, mustard, oregano, paprika, parsley, saffron, salt and thyme. Vegetable, chicken broth based soups; tomato-based soups/sauces.
Condiment ListHere are some recommended condiments worthy of experimentation. Use organic whenever possible, looking for those with minimal ingredients, additives and processing. BASIC SPICES OILS basil chili oil cinnamon coconut oil cumin extra virgin olive oil curry powder flaxseed oil garam masala spice mix hot sesame oil garlic infused olive oils ginger toasted sesame oil oregano thyme turmeric
Condiment List (continued) PEPPERS VINEGARSblack pepper in a grinder apple cider vinegar cayenne balsamic vinegar chili powder red wine vinegar chili flakes umeboshi vinegar paprika white pepper SAUCES Braggs amino acids SALTS hot sauces gomasio olive paste Herbamare pesto sea salt salad dressings tamari soy sauce tomato sauce
Condiment List (continued)NUTS AND SEEDS SEA VEGETABLES NUT BUTTERS: dulse flakes tahini, cashew, almond, peanut nori flakes NUTS:pine, brazil, cashews, walnuts, almonds, pistachios OTHER SEEDS: chutneyspumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax (raw or toasted) coconut milk grated daikon radish SWEETENERS ketchup agave nectar mustard barley malt nutritional yeast brown rice syrup Parmesan cheese honey pickles maple syrup sauerkraut stevia sliced red cabbage sprouts: alfalfa, sunflower, mung